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If there''s one name in the gaming community that has become synonymous with quality it would have to be Rare. From Killer Instinct (snes) through to Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64) this is a company that has been breaking new ground in nearly every genre despite the technical limitations they have been facing. It is likely for this reason that Microsoft turned to rare for a killer launch title on their new Xbox360 console. Rare answered with not one, but two, eagerly anticipated titles in the forms of Perfect Dark Zero (prequel to one of the best games ever designed) and this game Kameo: Elements Of Power that has been teasing people with it''s potential since it was first announced for the N64 nearly 6 years ago.
Elements Of Power tells the story of Kameo, a young elf princess who also happens to be the daughter of her kingdoms greatest champion. Years ago her father disappeared after defeating the evil troll king Thorn, and while Kameo has spent the years since living in relative peace her whole world is about to take a sinister turn. It seems Kameo''s mother has passed on to her the power to transform into the elemental sprites, or guardians of her kingdom. It also seems Kameo has an older sister named Kalus who feels cheated out of her birth right. Needless to say this combination of spunky young heroine and jealous older sister takes a turn for the worse when Kalus kidnaps the rest of the family and attempts to subdue their elemental sprites so that Thorn (yup, turns out the dude is still alive) can destroy the Elvin kingdom and rule the world with his "technology".
Similarities to Lord Of The Rings aside I would have to say that the story is probably one of Kameo''s weaker elements. Given a little time this colorful adventure could easily have been a Legend Of Zelda rival, if only it didn''t feel so incomplete. Kameo is a very linear game that progresses along the lines of ''travel to one village, solve a puzzle to reach a boss that unlocks an elemental, who is used to solve another puzzle to a second boss, who unlocks the elemental you need to solve the temple puzzles. This in turn get''s you to the really big boss that you need to defeat in order to save a relative who provides you with the elemental you need to access the next village.'' Unfortunately with limited cut scenes, and absolutely no interaction with your nemesis, then you never really feel as compelled to advance as you really should.
So then I find myself asking why I continued to push my way through the game, and the answer is simple. Kameo is actually surprisingly fun to play. At it''s heart this is a classical platform game, but with the added twist of the elemental sprites. Each of these creatures have their own strengths. Some; such as the boxing house plant Pummel Weed, are useful in battle, some are better at platforming, others can traverse the water, and one particularly cool creature can freeze the very air to create new paths. Only by learning the strengths of each creature will you be able to successfully navigate the entire game world and solve the games fairly simple puzzles.
For the most part battle is a frequent, but unobtrusive part of each level. However when exceptions are made they are made well; well all except for the action heavy puzzle light, and decidedly tedious, level that Microsoft insisted on shoehorning in at the start. Largely these exceptions occur in the badlands between each village, and when you first witness this area you will lose any misconceptions you may have had about the 360''s abilities. To give you an idea of the power on display here consider that the original X-box could handle maybe 20 or so characters onscreen at once without slowdown, but in the badlands you will witness literally thousands of trolls battling thousands of soldiers, and it can get very intense when you have to enter the battle in order to complete your objectives.
Still the battles honestly don''t take up much of your time until you manage to reach the games various bosses. These fall into two categories. The first are the actually disappointing mid bosses that take up the majority of the battles. Every one of them is exactly the same; a giant shadow troll that can not be touched, but that sends out many light trolls to attack you. These can be hit, and once you''ve done that you simply pick them up and throw them at the Shadow Troll. As you progress their attacks and durability will increase, but otherwise they are all the same turgid and predictable boss battles that get in your way.
Once you reach the dungeons though you will find the real deal. Huge end of level bosses that require some serious thought to defeat. To beat any of these bosses you''ll need to use 2 or more specific elementals, and figure out how to combine their attacks to get through the bosses defense. once you know this the fights can become pretty easy, but still, figuring it out yourself and then utilizing that tactic can be a very rewarding experience.
Sadly as much as I enjoyed playing through most of Kameo, I still found a very real problem rearing it''s head. It feels like a side effect of the games cross platform development really, but I found the games controls to be a little unresponsive. The system itself works fine, having the 2 trigger buttons perform all of Kameo''s moves, with the face buttons being used to switch between whichever Elementals you have assigned. It''s just that when you try to move Kameo using the thumb stick there''s a slight delay in her movement. Ordinarily you wont notice, but at times in the game a puzzle/battle will require you to push another item off a cliff, and when your character ends up moving around the object at critical moments you will find yourself shouting.
Still, despite a few gameplay hiccups I do believe Rare has provided a nicely presented game here. Kameo''s graphics are simply breathtaking. The locations may come down to the cliches, fire world, ice world ect... but each of them has been superbly rendered with more of those wonderful lighting effects the 360 knows how to handle. I did notice a few clipping issues during the sloppily designed first level, but after that the game had me well pleased, particularly with the draw distance over the badlands.
Oh, and the sound. The sound is just incredible. I loved the voice acting in this game, it was genuinely funny in the way few games can manage. I don''t care whether it''s the Oracle''s whining, the Whatnot''s (your talking book) sarcastic guidance, or the over the top battle cries of the mysterious lead soldier, I was laughing. Then when you combine that with some wonderfully cute tunes for each level and you have a game that is as fun to watch as any Disney movie released lately.
All in all I''d heartily recommend Kameo as a game you should enjoy playing. While the unfortunate flaws prevent it from being this generations Jak And Daxter you could do worse than play this easy, but enjoyable little platformer. Besides, if you happen to be a parent who wants to share their new console with the kids, then the game is really essential right now.
Released as a launch title for the Xbox 360 console Kameo has not stood the test of time very well in my opinion. You play as a girl who has the ability to transform into a variety of creatures that each have different strengths and weaknesses. The player must use each creature at the correct moments in order to solve puzzles or fight off enemies. I have read many positive reviews of this game but after playing it I cannot see where these views have stemmed from. Do not get me wrong this is far from a terrible game but it doesn't provide a particularly thrilling platforming experience. Anyone who has played a game from either the Jak and Daxter or Rachet and Clank series will be disappointed with this game as it cannot match up to these and as such I would recommend these instead to anyone looking for a fun platforming experience.
Sometimes you hear about the concept of a game, and it sounds so cool and fun that you just can't imagine how it could possibly turn out to be anything but brilliant.
Unfortunately, when these games are released, bar a few major exceptions, the result is quite often a serious load of disappointment.
Kameo sounds great on paper - an action adventure game in which you play a character who can shapeshift into a number of different forms. Cue images of an awe-inspiring, action packed fantasy adventure, full of open ended opportunities to resolve situations using your various forms, with head-scratching puzzles involving clever uses of transformations to solve.
Well, the 'head-scratching puzzles' are there. But everything else about this game is terribly disappointing.
The first thing I noticed was the graphics and environments. Technically, I'm sure they're very good, with the incredible detail and smooth animation expected in next-gen gaming. But the whole design here is lacking. The environments, rather than looking epic and magical, just look like...well, levels from a video game. And naff, particularly unbelievable ones as well.
About ten billion years and fifty sequels or so, Tomb Raider showed us that platform games didn't have to be based around mysteriously floating platforms and colourful glowy things. Kameo is full of this kind of stuff, throwing away any sense of immersion, awe or believability from the game visually. Most parts of the game are about as believable as the first Sonic the Hedgehog secret level.
So, I don't like Kameo visually or stylistically. How about gameplay then? Well, yes, there are puzzles. And I guess there is action. But everything is just so painfully stilted. Each section basically has one option for completion, which usually requires the player to be in one particular form, and to repeat one particular task until progression becomes possible, whether this is beating up baddies using the tedious and clunky combat system, or perhaps turning into a ball and rolling around some sort of fantasy fairy castle skatepark knocking over evil skittles. Although that sounds like a concept far more entertaining than anything offered in this title.
The problem lies in the fact that rather than learning a core set of skills and applying them throughout the game, you are constantly acquiring new ones which you will then never use again. This gives the game a dull and stilted flow that feels completely scripted.
The game looks mediocre, the gameplay is boring and restrictive, and the controls are clunky. Perhaps I'm being a bit cruel here - some people may find the ability to transform to be cool, especially kids. So perhaps kids would enjoy this.
Everyone else though, please avoid Kameo. It's a real disappointment and although it's built on next-gen technology, the gameplay and design here is stuck in the dark ages.
Kameo Elements Of Power is an action game for the Microsoft Xbox360 games console.
In this game you play as a fairy called Kameo you must defeat the evil trolls and rescue members of your family.
The gameplay is really fun as you have many characters to collect. Kameo can transform into many different characters from a ice gorilla, a fire breathing dragon two a plant with boxing gloves! Each of these characters will get Kameo through different situations.
What I really like about this game is that you can go through it with a second player, but unfortunately not many people play it online as it is quite old.
This game has absolutely spectacular graphics, to anyone watching they may think you are watching a pixar movie. The colours are vibrant and environments really come to life.
You can get this game for about £10.00 so do not miss it.
Kameo holds a very interesting universe for it's players with a very twisted puzzle world which offers a lot to the player. It's only downfalls is that the puzzles are often rather vague and difficult to grasp.
Many people would consider this a great thing! Due to the nature of the diverse creatures you can transform into, and the fact that each has a unique element to them that helps you along the level, the puzzles can be twisted in ways you'd not see anywhere else.
With that said, the fact you'd never find them anywhere else will have you scratching your head for maybe hours. The creatures are cute, the enemies are also pretty adorable, the enemy bosses appropriately entertaining with a small puzzle way to fight them as well.
The music is also pretty decent, however it was simply not a game that was able to keep me coming back. After being stuck repeatedly I felt like I was wasting my time.
Kameo elements of power is a game in which you go around looking for lost elemental ansestors. Once you find this ansestors you can take control of them and use their individual abilities to your adavntage. This game has some very intersting features. For example you can find or buy skins for your monsters to give them individual looks. The plot of the game revolves around stopping king thorn who is a giant troll thing that wants to rule your kingdom. The enemies in the game range from tiny little bug creatures that can easily be defeated to giant trolls that need different combos and monsters to defeat. The monsters are interchangable at the touch of a button which gives quick and easy fighting. Overall this game gives hours of fun that will keep you gripped for all this time. You could also find yourself playing it all over again as it has a very good co-op mode.
There was a lot resting on this tile, a launchpad that was to showcase the xbox 360's power to the universe. The developer, Rare, possibly knew this and thus why they created one of the much-loved xbox 360 titlesof the present day. The story isn't very original but still manges to keep the gamer entwined with it's ever so subtle plot twists until the very end. The gamep,ay is exellent with gamers having the power to morph between Kameo, the main character and different monsters called elements. These all have different powers, for example, the round rock like creature is good for rolling up hills but not picking up enemies. The gamer is forced to swap between charcters quickly in order to acomplish tasks. There is no xbox live support (it was a launch title) but the story is lengthy enough to be worthy of an investment from most platform gamers.
Perhaps the definitive developer on the N64 is Rare. They had a string of hits on the N64 like Conker, Perfect Dark, Banjo and Donkey Kong 64. They didn't quite make an impact on the original Xbox though. There was the apparently lacklustre Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Conker: Live and reloaded which was a remake of the original. No Conker sequel, no Banjo sequel, no Goldeneye sequel-no nothing! But since I jumped to the 360, things seem to be a bit more promising. There was the great sequel/prequel to Perfect Dark and Viva Piñata was decent (though not my thing). Another game from Rare is Kameo: Elements of Power. If this is any indication, Rare will rule on the 360. This is a great adventure game, with stunning visuals, varied and exciting gameplay, top notch sound and solid controls. But a brief length and a jarring beginning mean this just, and I mean just, misses superbness.
You play as Kameo, an elf princess in a realm with lots more elves. She seems to get the most attention, which would be fine and dandy if there wasn't a jealous, little sister next to Kameo. Her sister, Kalus just envys her sister, and in a jealous rage, awakens a troll king called Thorn. They capture the castle, take her relatives and are threatening the Enchanted Kingdom. Now, Kameo must regain her magical powers, which she lost when she tried to assault the castle that has been taken over, and take down the evil duo of Thorn and Kalus. It's obviously not going to be grand and spectacular, but the plot is decent enough to compel.
Kameo's controls are quite intuitive. Rather than mashing on the face buttons to kill enemies, Kameo takes a unique approach. Switching between Kameo forms is down with the B, X and Y buttons and attacking is done with the triggers and bumpers. This is definitely a risky approach, as triggers aren't exactly the best choice for button mashing as sometimes moves won't respond (proven in Conker: Live and Reloaded). But the controls respond perfectly, as doing moves immediately takes effect. It's also worth noting that because the controls are responsive, switching forms is quick and easy. Context sensitive actions are done with the A button, and rather than pausing with the start button, you pause with the select button and start brings up the Wotnot, which is a guide as well as one to improve stats.
The game doesn't start off very well. Rare tried to start the game with a bang, but it just feels jarring. Rather than starting the game with a tutorial to show you even the basic manoeuvres, the game immediately throws you into the action. Youre left to figure out the basic and advanced controls by yourself, without a proper tutorial. The controls are simple though, so it won't take long to get used to the basic controls, yet advanced techniques can be hard to get used to at first. Plus, the stage itself is quite hard as it feels like a stage from near the end of the game. One very weird thing, though, is that as soon as you finish the jarring level, the game then decides to tutorial you with only the basic manoeuvres like moving the camera. It's confusing. This means the game gives a terrible first impression, and could drive people off from playing this game as soon as they start.
If, and once, you get past this jarring beginning, youll start to realise this game is quite a good time. The gameplay consists of three things-combat, puzzle solving and exploration. The combat doesnt sound deep at first, as while you may have more than enough attacks, the game doesnt require you to use your brain during combat. What adds to the combat is Elemental Warriors. These are forms Kameo can transform into each with their own unique abilities. While Rare could have slapped this together by simply giving different colours of Kameo, thats far from what Rare have done. Each form looks completely different to each other, and they play completely different from each other. The controls for all the characters are placed on the triggers, meaning you dont have to memorize attacks for each form. You can attack with Kameo herself, but considering that not only does she have one attack, except its incredibly weak; mean that using her could result in death. So, using the forms is the key.
There are a total of ten Elemental forms, which are unlocked as you play through the game. The game does a Metroid Prime on you, where as soon as you finish the annoying beginning you are pretty much stripped of the elemental forms you had on that level. It will be annoying or not, depending on whether you like this. But one thing you cant deny is that the elemental powers are cool. No two feel alike, and that means you will never feel tired of using any of the forms. Its also nice that each form will come into use in the game throughout. Even if they dont come into use as much as each other, all the forms will be used more than twice throughout the game, and thats just from puzzles. Each form has at least two attacks, and they all have abilities too. For example, the cheeky looking Pummleweed can burrow itself into the ground and can either go under these shells around the level, or just rise up and punch a troll in the face. Some characters need abilities combined together, like when you have to go into this roly-poly mole thingy called Major Ruin and speed boost over a ramp then you have to go into an ice beast called Chilla and grab onto the surface in front of you-in mid air.
The puzzles in the game are much better than the usual adventure game. Fear not, theres no crate pushing here. Theres some searching to do though, as some puzzles require you to find a creature form to complete the puzzle. But they never get to the moment where you find a creature form, complete the puzzle, only after five minutes having to backtrack and get another creature form to complete another puzzle. Plus, if you just got scared of having to collect fifty bananas to unlock a door, forget it as theres surprisingly (considering Rare do that a lot in some of their previous games) little of that here, if none. The puzzles in the game are actually combat-oriented, as you have to use characters moves to do puzzles to progress. For example, you have to set these torches alight in a specific order. Rather than just giving the game away, the game gives some clever clues that wont always help you, but intrigue you.
Unfortunately, theres one thing that gives the game away-the Wotnot. It wont tell you immediately, yet if you wait long enough, the Wotnot will insist you to let him give you some advice. Unless you can ignore it, youll probably give in and let it gives you advice, which pretty much tells you what to do. You can turn this off, and it is helpful if you do get really stuck, it seems to give away the game easily. Still, its nice to see theres no crate pushing or any crap like that. The Wotnot is quite helpful too aside from puzzles. It counts how far youre through the game and also helps you in terms of switching characters. You can do it during battle by holding a button and opening up a mini-wheel to select your character, but that leaves you open to getting attacked, so the other way is better. You can go into the Wotnot and select which form is mapped to one of the face buttons to select your form. This is quick, easy and stops you from being attacked.
The exploration of Kameo is also solid. You can look on a mini-map if you get stuck, and it is quite helpful as the world of Kameo is pretty large. There are lots of areas to explore, and finding your way across the badlands can be punishing without the map. The world itself is so rich in detail that you may sometimes turn off the map and just explore the areas. And there are rewards to exploring too. You can find helpful items, hidden secrets and other cool items. Yet, the game doesnt make the game hard to find your way to important locations if you want to take the linear path. The game will mark the way to go with a green dot on the mini-map. Also, when you get into Badlands battles the game will mark the key area with a red dot, meaning you wont get confused on where to go. It certainly means you dont have to play by wondering around like a headless chicken, trying to find out where to go.
Perhaps the most epic moments of the game are when you get into these Badlands fights. Each area is linked by a big area that is filled with tons of orcs fighting with the rival elfs. You have to go right through the battlefield. It might sound tough, but thanks to you acquiring a noble steed of a companion you can trek through the field without too much damage. Your horse can ram through anything smaller than it in sight. You can smash through dozens of orcs ahead. But thats not the only reason you need to be in the Badlands. Sometimes, the orcs will assault the towers that keep the realm safe. Its your job to get rid of them. Its not as hard as taking down every single enemy in the area. You must do tasks like destroy the tanks assaulting the area, fending enemies off from the towers and more. Its all exciting, thanks to the epic scale.
One thing that is very, very disappointing is the co-op. It just has too many flaws to be even slightly enjoyable. Unlike other co-op games on the 360, youre both Kameo, and the levels dont change at all on co-op. In fact, you cant even play co-op unless you unlock the levels in the game for co-op. This means that maybe one of the players is an expert at Kameo, as they needed to play through the game to unlock the levels. Now you might say this is a launch title, so back off. But let me mention one game to you. Perfect Dark Zero. Another 360 game from Rare, this was launched with the 360 too, and the co-op had two different characters. I think its clear what Im saying-Rare were just lazy with the co-op.
The game is rated 12+ for violence. I think its a bit overrated, as the game doesnt have blood and theres nothing completely disgusting about the game. Theres no swearing, and the only real sexual reference is that Kameo could be mistaken for a stripper as she doesnt wear anything on the stomach area. Except from that, anyone could play this game. Plus, the game isnt the hardest game in the world, thanks to the clues for the puzzles and the combat, meaning some of the younger people could handle the game, so long as they can get past the opening sequence. I think this game should be 7+, if not a 3+.
Graphically, Kameo looks stunning. Everything looks next-gen, from the textures to the character models to the animation. The environments are rich with detail, with lots of items in the background. The textures make the environments look better, and the game supports a nice colour palette, being bright and colourful. The character models look great, with nice details. The animation is superb too, with top notch animation during the cut scenes (in engine or not). The lighting is also superb, giving the game a nice sun kissed look. Also, the frame rate is excellent, not slowing down once throughout the whole game. Even when there are tons of enemies onscreen during the badlands battles, the game never suffers from slowdown.
The sound is also outstanding. The voice acting is great, as its light hearted, but never annoys you like some of the kid games around. Unfortunately, the guy who voiced a character in Perfect Dark Zero is here and hes just as hammy. The music is amazing. The game has an orchestral score like in games such as God of War and Conan. It ramps up at the same time and is nice and peaceful whenever youre just roaming around. The effects also pack a punch, with some comical effects from the elemental forms when they chuckle to themselves. Its funny at times hearing the forms make weird noises. The other effects are good too, like the sound of when orcs scream as they go flying into the distances after you have thrown them.
Kameo mostly suffers here. The game is too short, clocking in at about seven, maybe ten hours. Theres some replay value here from things like exploring the area, maxing out your characters skill and more. Unfortunately, after that theres little to do. The co-op is half-baked, meaning you wont want to play again, and even with a free downloadable feature that lets you do co-op and other modes on Xbox Live, its not worth it considering not many people like Kameos co-op. It was pretty much deserted, as even after waiting for eight minutes, no one came online so I just gave up.
Replay Value- 5
Overall Score- 8.4
Kameo is a great game, with excellent visuals, varied gameplay, fantastic sound and great controls. Unfortunately the game is slapped with having mediocre value. A short campaign and a lack of replay value means youll be done with this one quickly. Still the game is worth a try thanks to its other terrific feats. If you have yet to play this launch title, now is a good enough time to give this a try so you can give your 360 a break from Gears or Bioshock.
This was published by Microsoft and developed by Rare
This was released on December 2nd, 2005 and is only on Xbox 360
You can buy this for £37.98 or £21.98 (Classics version)
In this game you take on the title role of Kameo who is an elf princess, in the opening scene she is attacking a castle as she is battling against the evil troll king Thorn who is in league with her evil sister Kalus and together they have kidnapped other members of her family, the aim of the game is to rescue the family and defeat your enemies.
This is a very good action adventure game and Kameo is a great character to play as she is able to transform into a number of weird creatures and use their abilities to defeat her enemies. In the game you will get to be such weird things as a boxing plant or a yeti to name a couple.
The controls are easy to master in this game and this is helped by the fact that there are frequently prompt messages on the screen telling you what button does what and there is also a help section as well as initially you have to get used to the different characters and what buttons command what movement for each.
At times you will find yourself in the Enchanted Kingdom which is a sprawling world that you can explore, interacting with characters and finding items that you can use. This is very different to the Badlands where large armies of trolls are battling and there is a far more fighting taking place as you have to complete a number of missions. There is a also a puzzle element to this game and in order to get a new creature form to use you will have to battle a shadow troll which can be quite challenging however often the same tactic works on each so you get the hang of it fairly quickly.
For me the best part of this game is the combat sequences which are a lot of fun and make you utilise the different creature forms available to you. At the end of these sequences there will be a boss character to defeat and these are really well animated and quite tricky to beat.
Visually the game is superb with a great variety of worlds and characters. The only real disappointment with this game is that it is not very long and I found I had pretty much finished it over a five day period which was a bit disappointing however it is an enjoyable game that does warrant playing over and there is always lots of areas to explore more fully second time around.
Definitely worth getting and is available at Amazon for £19.99 new or from £8,50 in the new and used section.